Arizona basketball: Wounds, mom's cancer weigh on Parrom

2011-10-12T00:02:00Z 2014-07-24T10:18:38Z Arizona basketball: Wounds, mom's cancer weigh on ParromBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 12, 2011 12:02 am  • 

Two bullet fragments remain lodged in Kevin Parrom's upper right leg, probably forever. His right foot is in a temporary boot thanks to tissue, nerve and other damage from a bullet that entered the side of his right knee.

And three fingers on Parrom's left hand are wrapped in bandages, hiding lacerations from another gunshot that just grazed him.

But all that is only half of the pain the Arizona Wildcats forward faces now, in the wake of a Sept. 24 shooting at his New York home in the Bronx.

Parrom's mother, Lisa Williams, is hospitalized again, making a last-ditch effort to stave off the aggressive cancer that she's had for more than two years.

She was the reason Parrom went home that fateful weekend. She is what Parrom spoke softly about Tuesday, when he and UA coach Sean Miller detailed Parrom's condition in an interview with the Star.

"She's hanging on," Parrom said. "She's fighting for her life right now. I know she's strong enough that she's going to fight through this. But right now, it's not in my hands. I've got to pray every day and hope that she can make it to the next day."

Parrom knows he will make it to the next day. He realized he was that lucky while being treated for gunshot wounds during two days at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.

He declined to go into details about the shooting incident; Jason Gonzalez of the Bronx was charged with attempted murder in connection with the incident.

Miller said the weekend trip home originated after Parrom's grandmother died and UA staff learned Parrom's mother was in serious condition.

The UA coach said he and Parrom's family agreed on a weekend for the player to go home and that the family purchased his plane ticket. Miller added that Parrom flew out on a red-eye that arrived Sept. 23 and spent most of the day with his mother before meeting a woman - a longtime friend with whom Parrom has a platonic relationship - at his father's apartment.

"The biggest thing is he's not in the middle of Manhattan at a club," Miller said. "He's not out at 3 in the morning, drunk. He doesn't have a gun. Another person has a gun. He's sitting on the couch, in the very place he grew up, with a friend."

According to New York police: Two men entered the apartment when the woman answered the door, and Parrom ran inside the bedroom and locked it. The men broke open the door, a scuffle ensued and Parrom was shot - police said only once, to the leg, but Parrom said his hand was grazed, too.

Martin Fisher, Gonzalez's attorney, has declined comment and has not returned phone calls to the Star.

Miller and UA trainer Justin Kokoskie said it's too early to tell how long Parrom will be out, although it's certain the player will miss the opening of full preseason practices Friday. The UA has applied to the NCAA for a waiver that would allow Parrom to remain eligible while taking one fewer class than normal.

"This was a gunshot wound, not an ankle sprain or someone pulling a hamstring," Kokoskie said. "With that, there's a tremendous amount of healing that needs to take place. … We are cautiously optimistic but only time will tell."

What UA does know is that Parrom couldn't move his leg after the shooting and had muscle exposed from a bullet wound that initially measured over an inch long.

Less than three weeks later, Parrom can walk almost normally, and the wound has shrunk dramatically. The gunshot fragments will probably not be removed because of the risk involved. In addition, the lacerations on Parrom's hand are no impediment to basketball.

"There are some days like (Monday) that are frustrating, where he doesn't see a lot of progress, but (Tuesday) he maybe feels a little better," Miller said. "It's a daily process, and week by week. The thing we talk about is every Friday, 'OK, where was I a week ago on Friday? Where was I two Fridays ago?'"

One other thing matters about Fridays. It's that Parrom keeps having them.

"I'm just happy to be here. I'm happy to be alive. I'm happy to breathe," Parrom said. "I'm not really dwelling on that situation any more. I'm just trying to move forward with my life."

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 6 1 0 0.857 18 2 0 0.900
Utah 5 1 0 0.833 15 3 0 0.833
Stanford 5 2 0 0.714 14 5 0 0.737
Oregon State 5 2 0 0.714 13 5 0 0.722
Oregon 4 3 0 0.571 14 6 0 0.700
Washington 3 3 0 0.500 14 4 0 0.778
UCLA 3 4 0 0.429 11 9 0 0.550
Washington State 3 4 0 0.429 9 10 0 0.474
Colorado 3 4 0 0.429 10 8 0 0.556
Arizona State 2 5 0 0.286 11 10 0 0.524
California 1 6 0 0.143 11 9 0 0.550
USC 1 6 0 0.143 9 10 0 0.474

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
UCLA at
Oregon
1/24 64-82
USC at
Oregon State
1/24 55-59
Washington State at
Colorado
1/24 58-90
Arizona at
California
1/24 73-50
Arizona State at
Stanford
1/24 70-89
Washington at
Utah
1/25 6:30 pm
Oregon State at
Arizona State
1/28 6:00 pm
Oregon at
Arizona
1/28 8:00 pm
Stanford at
Washington
1/28 9:00 pm
Colorado at
USC
1/29 7:30 pm
Utah at
UCLA
1/29 8:00 pm
California at
Washington State
1/29 9:00 pm
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